Each time we get a new member or organisation signing up to our network, MHIN Africa, we get excited because it means that we are growing and that there’s one more person or organisation who is advocating for better mental health care somewhere in Africa, one user at a time.
So far, we have 90+ organisations that are African mental health-specific. One of those organisations is PsyndUp, a free, online database and directory service for clinical professionals in Nigeria who can be contacted by end-users that are seeking help. Users do this through PsyndUp’s “Find a Therapist" feature which allows end-users to find a mental health professional closest to where they live.
"The main aim for this platform is to help Nigerians gain access to mental health professionals and book sessions with them from the comfort of their home.” - Founder Funmilade Taiwo
Other features you will find on the platform
And that is not all that PsyndUp is about. The platform has other interactive features such as the opportunity to post (anonymously, if one chooses to) questions that are grouped in different types of mental illnesses that a user might have. These different types or categories are grouped and listed in alphabetical order, e.g. in category A you will find questions about anger management and anxiety / stress and in category D you find will questions about depression, etc. They also host mental health-themed Twitter chats where they would have a professional in the field as a guest to answer questions about that particular topic or theme during the live Twitter chat.
So far, PsyndUp has had 240 people register on the community, 41 discussions, one of which was with a clinical psychologist, Mr Akin Gabriel, where users got the opportunity to engage with him on mental health matters. According to Mr Taiwo, 60+ people have requested to see therapists in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano via email, social media channels and their "Find a therapist" link on the website.
Another PsyndUp feature that stands out is their blog. The blog covers mental health topics in a motivational and encouraging way that is understanding towards the reader, especially one who might be dealing with a mental illness.
The PsyndUp blog
If you haven’t visited their blog yet, below we have summed up some of the featured blogs on this platform.
- On Love and Mental Illnesses
- Nigerians Really Don’t Understand Disordered Eating
- This is For the Heroes Who Don’t Wear Capes
- I like My Moin Moin With A Side of Jam
- Is It Your Depressed?
When people say: “Stop being over dramatic, you’re not depressed, you’re only sad”. The first thing that comes to my mind is, “Is it your depressed?” I mean, while everyone at some point has to deal with stress, I often perceive certain life events as threatening and difficult to deal with. Stress to everyone else might be like "power outages."
Get PsyndUp up yourself
This is definitely a different way Nigerians can access mental health care, and get advise from practising professionals. PsyndUp is a step in the right direction and it shows that mental health does matter.